The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a direct descendant of the ancient breed of Grand Bleu de Gascogne. Basset is derived from the old French word “bas(se)” which literally means “low” or “short”. This long-bodied, short-legged breed originated in Gascony, in the southwest portion of France. It was used in hunting hares and rabbits. It was purposely bred to have short legs to slow the pace of the dog so that hunters can easily follow it, while the long, low slung body enables the Basset Bleu De Gascogne to follow the prey into its lair or under thick shrubs. The earliest appearance of a breed similar to the Basset Bleu De Gascogne was in paintings done in Gascony during the 14th century. As the years past, interest and the lure of hunting began to dwindle and with this, the popularity of the breed also began to decline which nearly brought the breed into extinction. Thanks to the effort of French breeder Alain Bourbon, the Basset Bleu De Gascogne was saved and revived, although it still remains a rare breed in the United Kingdom.
The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a real working dog – agile and active while hunting and typically docile when at home. It is a sociable breed that loves being with the family at all times. It has a nice howling voice and will let out a deep throated howl to warn the hunter if it locates a scent. It is a fairly good dog to have for children because this breed loves to play and can easily learn very amusing tricks.
It is an easy breed to train and excels very well in obedience training because of its intelligence. Training must be done by a firm but gentle owner with positive encouragement. Yelling and harsh training will only make the dog stubborn. As a scent hound with an impeccable sense of smell, it has a tendency to follow interesting smells so it needs to be kept in a well-fenced yard.
The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a very easy dog to maintain not only because of its small size but because it has an almost groom-free coat, with no trimming or stripping necessary. The soft and smooth coat naturally wards off dirt but a once-a-week brushing will help remove dead hair and will make the skin healthier because brushing promotes blood flow. Check and clean the ears regularly as they are prone to infections because of their proximity to the ground.
There are no major health issues associated with the Basset Bleu De Gascogne. It is an extremely healthy breed that typically lives between 10 to 12 years but there are documented breeds that lived up to 14 years.
It is an ideal pet to have whether in an apartment setting in a city or in a house set in rural areas as long as it gets a dose of daily long walks on leash. Do not let this breed on its own or it will follow any interesting smell it might encounter along the way. A dormant Basset Bleu De Gascogne can have a tendency to become destructive and will channel its boredom into other activities.
The friendly, mild and easy going temperament of the Basset Bleu De Gascogne makes it an ideal household pet and fitting playmate and companion of children. In its native setting, this breed used to hunt in a pack so it gets along very well with other pets in the house although it may occasionally give chase to small animals such as rabbits, hares, and guinea pigs but early socialization can curtail this attitude.